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God’s Merciful Judgment

September 26, 2012 by Pito

God did not forsake his sinful servant David. He continued to pursue him through the prophet Nathan. The story Nathan told about the rich man stealing a poor man’s lamb was not immediately grasped by the guilt-ridden king of Israel. It was not until David had declared justice for the poor man that Nathan put the needle into the sore by saying to David, “You are the man.”

Finally, David ceased trying to cover up his sins and confessed openly and candidly, “I have sinned against the Lord.” God then confronted him with the depth of his sin, reminding David, “I anointed you…I delivered you…I gave you … and gave you the house of Israel and Judah…also I would have given you much more.” David committed the sin of ingratitude. God had blessed him abundantly, but David sought out sin instead.

After David confessed (see Psalm 51) his sin, God told David through Nathan that “The Lord has also put away your sin.” God’s forgiveness was immediate. He did not demand a time of probation. “You shall not die,” meant that David would be spared the penalty for adultery commanded by the law of Moses, death.

Because of his sin, David’s kingdom was tottering. But he repented and he was delivered because of the substitutionary death of his son. The son’s death was not a judicial atonement, but nevertheless, the son took the punishment that was due to David. When the child died, taking David’s deserved death, David arose, washed, anointed himself, changed clothes, worshipped and ate. David arose from the dust to the table, a resurrection for David that depended on the death of David’s son.

Our forgiveness likewise depends on the death of David’s Son. We have been anointed by the Holy Spirit and cleansed at our baptisms. We have put on new clothes, the righteousness of Christ. We come each week to worship and to eat at His Table. The Lord has lifted us up from the dust, raised us up to new life and set us at His right hand. All these blessings come to us because of the death of David’s Son. Let us feast on His mercy and justice for all of our sins have been forgiven.


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